Economic impact of MediaCityUK’s success highlighted by KPMG report for BBC

The economic impact of the BBC’s move to Salford a decade ago is revealed in a report from professional services firm KPMG.

Underlining the strength of the digital, creative and media sector in Greater Manchester, it highlights how the BBC, through its presence and investment, played a role in cultivating Salford as a “creative and digital cluster” over the last decade.

Supporting the continued growth of the digital and creative sector is a priority within the Economic Vision for Greater Manchester. Digital, Creative and Media was identified as a global frontier sector strength in the Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy.

The KPMG report: An Assessment of the Economic Impact of the BBC (available here) was conducted before the April 2021 publication of The BBC Across the UK, which included plans to expand the BBC workforce in Salford beyond the 3,500 current staff and shift new services to MediaCityUK.

It found that:

The largest share of the BBC’s economic contribution outside of London is generated in the North West of England (31% of the BBC’s direct GVA and 19% of its total GVA), reflecting the BBC’s significant activities in Salford. The BBC’s total GVA in the North West of £453m in 2019/20 accounted for approximately 0.2% of the region’s GVA in 2019.

MediaCityUK is a prime example of the “network and cluster spillovers” generated by the BBC through its role in creating local specialist clusters of creative and digital talent.

Employment in the creative and digital sector in Salford has since grown by 142%, from 6,310 employees in 2010 to 15,275 employees in 2019, compared to growth of 26% in these sectors across Great Britain over the same period. The BBC directly accounted for 34% of this growth, with the remainder being in the wider creative and digital sector, at least in part driven by wider firms clustering around the BBC in MediaCityUK and benefitting from BBC spending with them.

This is reflected in the number of digital or creative businesses in Salford which has grown by 70% since 2010, from 565 to 955, compared to growth of 44% in these sectors in the UK as a whole.

The latest BBC data for 2019/20 shows that the BBC now supports 3,048 direct FTE jobs in Salford and 159 indirect FTEs in Salford through supply chain expenditure.

The report suggests a direct link between the BBC’s move to Salford and the relocation of other creative and digital businesses, including SIS, ITV, Ericsson, AJ Bell, Kelloggs and TalkTalk. Additionally, the University of Salford opened and new research space at MediaCityUK.

KPMG’s report was drawn from a quantified assessment of the BBC’s contribution to the UK economy in terms of GVA and a “largely qualitative” assessment of the role of the BBC in supporting the growth of the creative and digital sector, as well as the wider UK economy.

For more information go to:


KPMG Report: MediaCityUK

Global challenges stimulate innovation for a better planet enabled by advanced materials

Advanced materials event hosted by GM LEP explored the future for global cities by 2038, when Greater Manchester aims to have achieved net carbon neutrality.

The twin challenges of climate change and coronavirus are likely to have accelerated innovation in advanced materials to support low carbon growth.

That was one of the conclusions of a roundtable discussion between senior commentators from industry, academia and public sector policy.

Hosted by GM LEP in partnership with MIDAS, Greater Manchester’s inward investment agency, and Graphene@Manchester, part of The University of Manchester, Material Gains: Building better cities for people and the planet, was led by Alok Jha, science correspondent with The Economist.

Panellists were Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, GM LEP board member and President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester; Tim Newns, CEO of MIDAS; Dr Beenish Siddique, founder and CEO of AEH Innovative Hydrogel; and James Baker, CEO of Graphene@Manchester.

They were asked for their views of the likely shape of Greater Manchester and other global cities by 2038.

Watch the video for a replay of the session.

Three GM companies listed among Tech Nation’s Future 50 9.0 cohort

Three companies from Greater Manchester have joined the prestigious programme for late-stage tech companies – Future Fifty 9.0. 

PeakPush Doctor and Sorted are among the 22 companies who have joined the programme this year. 

Future Fifty is Europe’s leading late-stage growth programme, designed to bring together, empower, and accelerate the growth of the most successful tech companies in the UK. 

Programme alumni include Monzo, Starling Bank, Darktrace, among others. 

131 companies have taken part in the programme since its inception, collectively raising $11bn, with nine companies going on to IPO. 


Peak is helping the world’s smartest companies put the power of AI at the centre of all commercial decision making. With Decision Intelligence, a brand-new category of AI-driven software and services, they’re helping their clients unlock the value of their data and start bringing certainty to their decision making, powered by AI. 

Push Doctor 

Empowering people to engage with their health on their terms, Push Doctor works in partnership with NHS practices, PCNs and CCGs across the country. It provides the platform and technology to allow safe and secure video consultations with NHS GPs, empowers patients and clinicians to leverage the benefits of a digital solution, and fully integrates with NHS clinical systems to ensure continuity of patient safety and care. 


Sorted is a global SaaS company, giving retailers full control of delivery management – whether that’s optimising checkout delivery options, enhancing carrier management in the warehouse or providing market-leading post-purchase CX. Sorted’s software is live in 19 countries around the world and offers access to a carrier library of 1000+ services. 

You can access the full 9.0 cohort here. 

Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:  

“The UK tech’s sector is set to be the cornerstone of UK economic growth after the pandemic, and the companies in this year’s Future Fifty cohort are a shining example of our nation’s innovation, entrepreneurship and resilience. Nurturing the growth of these scaling companies at such a critical stage is a national priority, as these are the businesses who are already shaping our future both locally and globally.” 


Future Fifty

Gerdau Graphene launches to capitalise on Greater Manchester’s 2D materials capabilities

Gerdau, the Brazil-based steel giant and Tier 1 Partner of Graphene@Manchester, has inaugurated a new company called Gerdau Graphene, which will develop and market products based on graphene applications.

The firm is also in the process of increasing its presence and capabilities in the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) at The University of Manchester.

The GEIC was co-funded by Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership in support of its work to further the economic impact of innovation in applications for advanced materials across the city-region.

Advanced materials were identified as a global frontier sector strength in the Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy.

Gerdau Graphene will work in partnership with the University as part of a global strategic alliance, with the aim of becoming a leading developer of graphene-enhanced products in the Americas.

It will operate independently from its parent company’s steel business divisions. It will offer pioneering technology to the construction, industrial and automotive lubricants, rubber, thermoplastics, coatings and sensors industries in Brazil and in countries across North America.

The new company is part of the portfolio of Gerdau Next, the new business division launched by Gerdau in the second half of 2020 to operate in new segments apart from steel.

“Our market entry is unique, thanks to our proposition of making graphene production on a large scale commercially viable,” explained Alexandre Corrêa, General Manager of Gerdau Graphene.

“We are reaching the market with the advantage of being part of a solid group that enjoys high global credibility, whilst operating under the philosophy of open innovation in collaboration with multiple ecosystems and partners.

“We have already been working with graphene in Manchester – the ‘home of graphene’ – since 2019. Thanks to strategic alliances already established in this new business, we are confident that Gerdau Graphene will be an important player in the Americas.”

Gerdau has been researching graphene for four years. In 2019, it entered into a partnership with the GEIC to conduct research on graphene. At the time, Gerdau joined a select group of companies across the globe with exclusive space for research at the GEIC, a global centre of excellence in graphene innovation, whose leaders advocates open innovation and collaboration.

“Having Gerdau as a Tier 1 Partner of the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre has been rewarding for all concerned,” said James Baker, CEO Graphene@Manchester.

“This is a company that has a strong heritage but also continues to pioneer and through Gerdau Graphene will open a new chapter for partnership and collaboration between us. This is a very exciting opportunity.”

Senior Project Manager for Gerdau Graphene, Danilo Mariano, who is based in the GEIC, added:

“When you live for advanced materials innovation there is no better place to be in Europe than Manchester.

“We are adding personnel and equipment to support material platform development in our lab space in the GEIC. We’re also expanding our collaborations within academia through the Henry Royce Institute as well as partnering with high-potential start-ups.”

Inside the GEIC: the Partner’s story – Gerdau

University of Manchester ranked world number one in THE Impact Rankings

The University of Manchester has been ranked number one in the world in the Times Higher Education’s Impact Rankings, which measures social and environmental impact towards the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It is the first time in the three-year existence of the ranking that a UK university has come top and is the only institution from the UK in the top ten this year.

The University works closely with Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, which recently unveiled the Greater Manchester Economic Vision for a fairer, greener, growing economy, and is leading the city-region’s drive for innovation to achieve net carbon neutrality by 2038.

With a record number of universities from 98 countries taking part in this year’s rankings, Manchester topped the overall table as well as achieving first place for its work towards the SDGs of Sustainable Cities and Communities and Responsible Consumption and Production as well as a second place for work in relation to Life Below Water.

The University’s research work in these specific SDGs includes mobilising urban living labs to create sustainable infrastructure; setting the standard for cleaner skies, and removing harmful pollutants from industrial wastewater with innovative technology.

But it isn’t just the University’s research in these areas that helped it top the rankings.

As the UK’s only university to have social responsibility as a core goal, Manchester plays a leading role in tackling the SDGs in four ways: research impact, learning and students, public engagement activity and responsible campus operations. These are realised in the pioneering civic engagement work of its cultural institutions, how students are engaged with the SDGs, its commitment to a zero-carbon future, paying staff a living wage, and the quality of reporting of progress on each of the 17 SDGs.

President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, a board member with Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

We’re absolutely delighted to top the world in the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings in 2021, but more importantly we’re pleased to be part of a growing community of universities committed to measuring and sharing their societal impact.

“We’ve taken part in the University Impact Rankings since their inception because we value the feedback they provide about our performance on each of the global goals. They cover every aspect of a university’s impact: our research, our teaching and learning, our engagement with the public and how we operate as sizeable organisations in our cities and regions.”

UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNAIDS, Dr Winnie Byanyima – who is also an alumna of the University and honorary doctorate recipient – said:

“I will always be proud to be part of The University of Manchester family and its alumni community.

“This deserved recognition for its enormous social, environmental and economic impact is even more reason for everyone associated with the institution to be immensely pleased. I offer them my sincerest congratulations.”

Phil Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer, Times Higher Education, said:

“It is wonderful to see from this unique Times Higher Education data analysis that UK universities are making a major impact to global society across a whole range of individual Sustainable Development Goals.

“In a year that has seen record levels of participation in the impact rankings, with 1,240 universities from 98 countries and regions included across the 18 ranking tables, and the clear strength of institutions in every corner of the world when it comes to helping achieve these shared goals, the success of The University of Manchester and many British peers is testament to the vital role universities across the home nations are playing in helping to ensure a sustainable future.”



The University of Manchester has been named the world’s number one university in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings

Science and Industry Museum awarded £4.3m for visionary decarbonisation project

The Science and Industry Museum has been awarded £4.3m by the Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme to transform the museum’s environmental sustainability and place zero carbon technology at the heart of the museum’s visitor experience.

The museum explores how ideas can change the world, from the industrial revolution to today and beyond, on a globally significant industrial heritage site. In the 1800s, a well was built (in the lower ground floor of the world’s first railway warehouse, the museum’s Grade I listed 1830 Warehouse) to harness the power of the ground water. This natural resource will now once again be utilised by the installation of a new water source heat pump network including bore holes along with the latest green technologies.

This is a visionary, sector-leading project where the original and modern combine for a sustainable museum of the future.

The funding will enable an annual reduction in CO2 emissions for the museum of 515 tonnes (equivalent to the average C02 emissions of over 30 UK homes per year) on completion of the works, improving every year as the electricity grid decarbonises through increased zero carbon generation. It will support the Science Museum Group’s goal to reach a net zero target of 2033 (announced today as 17 years ahead of the national target) and Greater Manchester’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2038 (12 years ahead of the national target).

£2.6 million will enable the Power Hall (currently undergoing urgent restoration thanks to £6million from the DCMS) to reduce C02 emissions by 60% by 2030 through enhanced roof insulation and glazing to improve energy efficiency, an electric boiler and water source heat pumps to heat the space and now power the historic engines sustainably, and a new building management system to monitor and control energy use of this iconic gallery.

The funding will place carbon literacy and zero carbon technology at the heart of the museum’s story and visitor experience. It will transform the Power Hall into a landmark symbol of the future, as well as of historic engineering.  As the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, Manchester and the industrial heritage buildings of the museum (including the Power Hall) were the catalyst for scientific innovation and unprecedented change worldwide. Powered by fossil fuel, past industry has been a major cause of climate change, the most pressing challenge facing our planet. Now, the Power Hall will help prime future progress through inspiring future scientists, entrepreneurs and innovators in developing careers and skills to help achieve a green economy and the next (green) industrial revolution.

£1.7 million investment site-wide will pave the way for total electrification of the entire museum’s heating system, through additional an air source heat pump and a new electricity substation, enabling the museum to increase power to its seven-acre site sustainably (with 100% of electricity already purchased from renewable sources). Additional measures include LED lighting for the historic 1830 warehouse and instant hot water and a new building management system to monitor and control energy use of the New Warehouse which will enable a 65% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 of this key space which houses the main visitor welcome, Revolution Manchester, Textiles and Special Exhibitions galleries and the museum’s shops, café, bistro and conference centre.

Director Sally MacDonald said:

“The museum’s site represents where science met industry and the modern world began – what happened here changed the world, triggering a revolution in trade, technology, travel and time. We are delighted that this funding will enable us to continue to innovate as we create an environmentally sustainable museum for the future.” 

Edward Clark, Programme Manager at Salix Finance, said:

“We’re really pleased that the Science and Industry Museum has benefited from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. Installing multiple technologies, including air and water source heat pumps, roof insulation and glazing across several sites is a great step for the museum towards reaching their carbon management plans and net-zero target.”

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme was launched in September 2020 and offered grants of up to 100% of the cost of upgrading public buildings in 2021. The £4.3m funding for the Science and Industry Museum follows the £78m Government funding announced to support energy efficiency upgrades to more than 150 public buildings across the city-region in March.

Due to the short deadline, appointments to deliver the project have been made by Direct Award, with approval from the DCMS from existing design and main building contractors, previously secured through competitive tender including building contractors HH Smith and architects Carmody Groarke.


Work originally begun in 2019 to restore the globally important Grade II listed Power Hall, thanks to £6 million from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and additional funding from the Science Museum Group to facilitate urgent and major repairs to the roof and a redisplay of the gallery content to show how Manchester changed the world.

Built in 1855 as the shipping shed for Liverpool Road Station, the Power Hall is one of the most beloved industrial heritage galleries in the country. It houses Europe’s largest collection of working steam engines, the majority of which were built in Manchester.

Scaffolding and securing some elements of this historic structure was completed in January 2020. The roof has undergone a critical drying out period, while the museum worked on renewed sustainability plans to take every opportunity to de-carbonise the building before work starts on the roof and inside the building in the coming months.

Following this additional infrastructure work, scaffolding is due to be dismantled in 2022, internal work is due to begin in early 2022 with the Power Hall now due to re-open to the public in 2023.

In years to come, this multi-sensory gallery, full of the sounds of machines, the whistle and smell of steam and incredible personal stories will show how Manchester provided the power that changed the city and the world—from the way we work to the consumer society we live in. In revealing more about the human skill and ingenuity of the past, the Power Hall will inspire the engineers and innovators of the future.

The decarbonisation project is part of the Science and Industry Museum’s multi-million-pound restoration plan, which will conserve and further open up its globally significant buildings and bring to life the story of the site and past, present and future ideas that change the world. Housing the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station and world’s first railway warehouse in the heart of the world’s first industrial city, alive with science and technology today, a more sustainable museum is being created to provide inspiring experiences for everyone. Information on all current projects including the restoration of the Power Hall can be found on the We are changing page.

Exterior photo of Science and Industry Museum